The ReBar cookbook has been popping up all over in my life these days. First a copy of it as a Christmas gift, then a cake at a birthday party, and a copy on coffee tables at dinner parties here and there. The chocolate cake would have been enough of an endorsement on its own, but every owner of a copy also had glowing things to say.

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It was a great choice of a gift, to be sure. ReBar is a restaurant in Victoria that makes delicious, local, and very veg-friendly food. Come March is was about time to stop flipping through the pages and actually make something from the book. After a lot of “ooooh, how about this?” moments, I settled on the Thai Dragon Bowl.

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I started with their recipe, but quickly deviated. I wanted more vegetables, and more flavour. I started by making a custom Thai broth, and then added shredded bamboo, baby corn, and extra red Thai curry paste for an extra kick.

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The broth is infused with ginger, garlic, galangal, and liberal amounts of lemongrass. A simmering time of about an hour (or approximately one generous hot tub session, a shower, and a small nap) gives you a delicious stock. Once it’s strained, you can begin adding the rest of the ingredients.

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Coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, and red curry paste amp up the flavour. Bamboo, baby corn, rice noodles, and tofu add body, and then snow peas, tomatoes, and green beans add body and deliciousness.

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Red Thai Dragon Bowl

Stock
3 stalks of lemon grass, bashed and chopped in 1″ chunks
2″ chunk ginger, peeled and chopped
2″ chunk galangal, peeled and chopped8 kaffir lime leaves
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, chopped
3L water

Soup
1½ tsp red curry paste
4–7 tbsp soy sauce (work up to it)
1 can coconut milk
2–4 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp palm sugar
5 kaffir lime leaves

1 can shredded bamboo
1 can baby corn, in 1cm sections
Half a package (~150g) fettuccine width rice noodles
1 cup chopped extra firm tofu

1 package snow peas
1 bunch green onions
1 cup drained chopped tomatoes

Chiffonade of Thai basil, for garnish

Combine all the stock ingredients and simmer for at least 60 minutes (though longer is better). Strain out the solids, pressing them to extract as much liquid as possible.

Return the stock to the pot, and add the curry paste, soy sauce, coconut milk, lime juice, palm sugar, and kaffir lime leaves. Stir and season the broth to taste with salt, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Add the bamboo, corn, noodles, and tofu, and simmer for 3 minutes before adding the snow peas, green onions, and tomatoes. Simmer another two minutes.

Garnish with Thai basil and serve!

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